The South Lakes High School Athletic Boosters are making a strong fundraising push to try to make up a budget shortfall that may interfere with the school's to get turf fields installed this year.
The boosters last week send a letter to members asking for a minimum of $100 per family to offset what they say is a projected $100,000 gap. The boosters are considering taking out a loan, the letter from South Lakes Boosters President Ron Parisi said, but the more the group can raise the less the loan amount will be.
The deal to get two new artificial turf fields (at a cost of more than $1.4 million) for South Lakes appeared to be done last month, after the school received a $175,000 county grant and partnerships with groups such as Reston Association ($50,00), Reston Community Center ($100,000), Reston Soccer ($250,00) and Reston Youth Association ($25,000) were in place.
The Boosters have committed to contributing $15,000 for annual repair and replacement. Additionally, SLHS will contribute to the effort with money from the school's discretionary fund. The Fairfax County Park Authority is also paying about $1 million from last year's $65 million Park Authority Bond.
The plan is to install turf on the stadium field and turf and lights on the nearby practice field.
The school had been eyeing a May 20 groundbreaking, but Reston Soccer has balked at the amount it pledge and is looking into taking out a loan of it's own - something that has caused internal dissension within that organization.
South Lakes Director of Student Activities Linda Jones said getting the fields will "be very difficult" if Reston Soccer does not contribute.
The deadline for the money to be in place has been extended to April 1, she said.
Parisi said in his memo that the Boosters believe the fields will benefit the entire Reston community.
"We believe the Turf Fields will be a great addition to the school and the entire Reston community," he said. "These fields will be used by SLHS sports teams, cheerleaders and dance team and the SLHS Marching Band. In addition, the Reston community at large will also have access, which includes numerous recreation leagues that will use the fields seven days per week. Turf fields will significantly reduce missed practices and postponed or canceled games due to inclement weather. "
The Boosters' fundraising deadline is Monday, March 25. To give, send donations to 2730 Sasscers Hill Court, Oak Hill, VA 20171 with checks made payable to South Lakes High School (SLHS) Athletic Boosters. Or donate online: http://www.seahawkboosters.com/turfdonations.htm. Donations are tax deductible.
Most Fairfax County Public Schools either have recently built turf fields or are in line to get the county grants that will enable them to build turf fields.
Fairfax County Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie said last month that if South Lakes does not get turf this year, it will likely move to the back of the line of the grant cycle. It could be three years before they could be in the running again.
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